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Jets' finals hopes take a hit as Mariners avoid unwanted record

Newcastle Jets’ faint Hyundai A-League finals hopes have been all but extinguished after playing out a tense goalless draw against Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Friday night.

In a typically tight and intense F3 Derby, neither side was able to capitalise on the limited number of chances created.

Jets youngster Kosta Petratos - who came off the bench to sink Sydney FC on Tuesday night - was almost the match-winning hero for the second time in three days when he was presented with an opportunity 10 minutes from time only to be denied by a brilliant stop by Mark Birighitti.

It was a frustrating night for the Hunter club, who dominated possession and chances but only managed two shots on target for the 90 minutes.

While the result extends their impressive run of results under new boss Carl Robinson, Newcastle's hopes of breaking into the top six appear all but over.

The Jets have moved into seventh spot and sit two points behind sixth-place Adelaide United, but they have played two games more. They have also played four matches more than Western United FC, who sit just one point behind them on the ladder.

It was a result which certainly left the Mariners feeling happier as they avoided setting a new Hyundai A-League record of 12 straight losses with just their second clean sheet of the campaign.

While the draw has stopped the rot for Alen Stajcic's men, the point will consign the club to a fourth wooden spoon in the last five seasons.

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MATCH REPORT: Wellington fend off surging Perth to claim vital three points

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Key moments

Gordon sets the derby tempo

It was a typically tight and tense start to the F3 Derby with both sides spending the first 20 minutes feeling each other out.

While goalmouth action was fleeting, Mariners defender Ziggy Gordon showed the type of desperation that is required in these types of games with a tackle to stop Nick Fitzgerald getting a shot at goal.

Ibini tries his luck

It was the Jets applying most of the pressure, with most of their joy coming down the right through Bernie Ibini and Matt Millar.

And it was Ibini who went closest in the first half, when he picked up possession near halfway and drove through the heart of the Mariners defence.

Ibini fired off a powerful strike at the end of his run but Mark Birighitti did well to palm it away to safety.

WATCH: Birighitti denies Ibini's surging run

Silky Silvera almost with the sucker punch

After absorbing most of the pressure, it was the home side that almost took a lead to the break courtesy of their young attacking star Sam Silvera.

The classy playmaker showed excellent speed, footwork and a brilliant stepover to work his way into the box before getting off a shot which forced Lewis Italiano into a vital save.

WATCH: Silvera goes close for the home side

Duric blazes over the bar

The Mariners enjoyed a strong start to the second half and almost got the breakthrough from a corner.

First Kye Rowles’ glancing header forced Italiano into a save before the rebound fell nicely for Milan Duric.

The Serbian midfielder hit his first time strike well but it flew high over the bar.

WATCH: Duric lets Jets off the hook

Petratos fails to test Birighitti

After being introduced early in the second half, Dimitri Petratos did his best to ignite the Jets’ attack.

The Socceroos playmaker started a move in his own half, finding Connor O’Toole on the left in acres of space.

O’Toole advanced into the Mariners box before squaring back to Petratos but his strike couldn’t hit the target,

WATCH: Petratos can't hit the target

Birighitti comes up big for the Mariners

It took more than 80 minutes for the Jets to carve out the chance of the night but they couldn’t make it count.

After Nigel Boogaard found Jason Hoffman on the right, the latter’s cross was perfect for the on-rushing Kosta Petratos.

The youngster steered his effort on target from close range but Birighitti made an outstanding reflex save to keep the ball out.

WATCH: Birighitti produces something special

Next Match

  • Central Coast Mariners v Western Sydney Wanderers

When: Monday, July 27
Where: Central Coast Stadium
Kick-off: 7.30pm (AEST)

  • Newcastle Jets v Western United FC

When: Sunday, August 2
Where: McDonalds Jones Stadium 
Kick-off: 7.30pm (AEST)

PREVIEW: Melbourne Victory v Western United FC
PREVIEW: Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United

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